Getting Over The Wall

By Destin Smith

Greetings! Firstly, I wanted to express how excited I am to join the AWSOM family. I look forward to the wonderful things that are in store for the future of AWSOM!

Have you ever sat down to write a paper for a school assignment and feel your mind go to mush? Have you ever played on a sports team and feel like you are not able to make any progress? This same phenomena happens all of the time in the world of music. I remember playing drums for the jazz band in high school and feeling like I was able to play what was “required” but felt restricted in my ability. I could play the styles, but I almost felt like a robot (insert drum fill here). I know throughout my musical career I have ran into walls in terms of my playing and instead of going over them, or around them even, I would bang my head against them or just lay on the ground for a while…metaphorically speaking of course. As overwhelming as it can feel, the solution for me has been simple, LISTEN TO MUSIC.

I know that seems obvious and you may say, “yeah I have heard that before” but it is so true! It is very important as a musician to expose yourself to all sorts of music. Even in the same genres of music the styles of musicians are different. Have you ever heard somebody pick out an instrumentalist without seeing who it was? It’s easy to get locked in to listening to top 40 pop on the radio or put your favorite Arianna Grande album on repeat as you dance alone singing into your hairbrush….I have never done that by the way. Your music, your artistic expression, is your own unique voice. If you think about it in the terms of visual art, if you are a painter you are always looking at the things around you to be inspired, or looking at the works of others to gain ideas. Music should be the same way. Give your brain more material to draw from and you will see it get you up, up, up and over the wall.